December 22, 2015
Avoiding Those Awkward Conversations
Has this happened to you? An acquaintance or relative asks, "What is it you do, again?" You say that you work in the microwave industry, and the person lights up in recognition, saying "Oh, you work with microwave ovens?"
Not even close.
Brent Dietz of Qorvo has had a similar experience explaining the RF semiconductor industry over the years. He offers these suggestions for making that exchange a much more enjoyable conversation.
The holidays are here. RF-powered LED lights decorate the neighborhoods, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) launches their annual (perhaps GaN-based) Santa Tracker and we in the semiconductor industry face the grim task of explaining what on Earth we do for a living to our families.
I’ve worked in the semiconductor industry since the early ‘80s, and I remember very clearly the first time I tried to explain my company over dinner. My uncle never did quite get it. “Now…you guys make microfiche?” he’d say. And we’d move on to another topic.
We’ve all been in this position before. One mention of “RF,” and you’ve lost people. So, like our GaN For Dummies® book, we’ve created a guide to make explaining what we do to those we love a little easier. Here are the top three do's and don’ts for explaining RF over the holidays:
But for heaven’s sake, DON’T reference Frozen. RF components may power smart TVs, universal remotes and Blu-ray players, but unless your intention is to start a four-hour singalong, steer clear.
Enjoy the holidays.
This article first appeared in Brent's Musings on Microwave Journal.
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